Pickup on South Street (1953) - News Poster


The Crimson Kimono

Another great Samuel Fuller film on Blu-ray — this one is a crime tale set in downtown Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo, that forms an interracial romantic triangle. It’s risky for its year because of the sexual dynamics — a Japanese-American man falls in love with a Caucasian woman. Fuller’s approach is years ahead of its time, even if Columbia’s sales job was a little weird.

The Crimson Kimono


Twilight Time

1959 / B&W / 1:85 widescreen / 81 min. / Street Date July 18, 2017 / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store 29.95

Starring: Victoria Shaw, Glenn Corbett, James Shigeta, Anna Lee, Paul Dubov, Jaclynne Greene, Neyle Morrow, Gloria Pall, , Barbara Hayden, George Yoshinaga.

Cinematography: Sam Leavitt

Film Editor: Jerome Thoms

Original Music: Harry Sukman

Written, Produced and Directed by Samuel Fuller

“What was his strange appeal for American girls?”

Believe it or not, there was once a time when Samuel Fuller was a fringe figure,
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Hell and High Water

Samuel Fuller sure knows how to turn up the geopolitical tension, especially in a rip-roaring provocative atom threat adventure, that might have caused problems if anybody cared what movies said back when the Cold War was hot. Richard Widmark skippers a leaky sub to the arctic and discovers that the Chinese communists are going to start WW3 — and blame it on Uncle Sam. It’s an insane comic-book adventure about very serious issues — and we love it.

Hell and High Water


Twilight Time

1954 / Color / 2:55 widescreen / 103 min. / Street Date June 13, 2017 / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store 29.95

Starring: Richard Widmark, Bella Darvi, Victor Francen, Richard Loo, Cameron Mitchell, Gene Evans, David Wayne.

Cinematography: Joseph MacDonald

Art Direction: Leland Fuller, Lyle R. Wheeler

Film Editor: James B. Clark

Original Music: Alfred Newman

Written by Samuel Fuller, Jesse L. Lasky Jr. story by David Hempstead

Produced by Raymond A. Klune

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Episode 179 – Criterion Collection Wish List for 2017

Episode Links Past Wish List Episodes Episode 63.9 – Disc 3 – Top Criterion Blu-ray Upgrades for 2011 Episode 110 – Criterion Collection Blu-ray Upgrade Wish List for 2012 Episode 136 – Criterion Collection Blu-ray Upgrade Wish List for 2013 Episode 146 – Criterion Collection Blu-ray Upgrade Wish List for 2014 Episode 154 – Criterion Collection Blu-ray Upgrade Wish List for 2015 Episode 169 – Criterion Collection Blu-ray Upgrade Wish List for 2016 DVD to BluRay Wish Lists Aaron: The Shop on Main Street Pickup on South Street Arik: Cleo from 5 to 7 Berlin Alexanderplatz Mark: Taste of Cherry Sisters David: Do the Right Thing Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters Ld to Blu-Ray Wish Lists Aaron: Blue Velvet (Announced as Ld Spine #219 but never released) Early Hitchcock Box (Sabotage, The Secret Agent, Young and Innocent, The Lodger, The Man Who Knew Too Much) Arik: A Night at the Opera Singin’ in the Rain Mark: 2001: A Space Odyssey The Producers David: I Am Cuba Letter From an Unknown Woman
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I Wake Up Screaming

Yes, it is a perfect title for a horror picture, but it belongs to an early film noir -- or as we discover, a murder thriller that previews the classic '40s noir visual look. Victor Mature is the man on the spot for a killing, Betty Grable and Carole Landis are a pair of sisters in danger, and Laird Cregar is the creepiest police detective in the history of the force. I Wake Up Screaming Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1941 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 82 min. / Street Date November 1, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Betty Grable, Victor Mature, Carole Landis, Laird Cregar, William Gargan, Alan Mowbray, Allyn Joslyn, Elisha Cook Jr. Cinematography Edward Cronjager Art Direction Richard Day, Nathan Juran Film Editor Robert L. Simpson Original Music Cyril J. Mockridge, Harold Barlow Written by Dwight Taylor from the novel by Steve Fisher Directed by H. Bruce Humberstone

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

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Scott Reviews Samuel Fuller’s Fixed Bayonets! [Masters of Cinema Blu-ray Review]

I’m noticing more and more a theme in postwar (especially American) cinema concerning pacifists turning towards violence. A character will introduce him- or herself as someone unable and morally opposed to weapons in general or harming another human being specifically, only to be put in a situation in which violence is presented as the only way out. We’ve covered (at least) two such films on this very website – Shane and Violent Saturday – and, having just seen it, I can add the considerably odd Frank Sinatra vehicle Suddenly to this list.

It’s not hard to see why American filmmakers and moviegoers would be interested in this subject at this time. Many of them had recently returned from war, where they did awful things for a greater good; those who didn’t go to war themselves certainly knew somebody who had. On a much larger scale, the use of
See full article at CriterionCast »

Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street

The irrepressible Sam Fuller fashions a crime thriller for German TV with his expected eccentricity: old-fashioned hardboiled scripting, freeform direction and bits of graffiti from the French New Wave. Christa Lang is the femme fatale and Glenn Corbett is the twofisted American hero, whose name is Not Griff. And yes, a pigeon does bite the pavement on Beethoven Street, and I tell you, that's one dead pigeon. Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street Blu-ray Olive Films 1974 / Color / 1:33 flat full frame (for German TV / 127 min. / Tote Taube in der Beethovenstraße / Street Date April 19, 2016 / / available through the Olive Films website / 29.95 Starring Glenn Corbett, Christa Lang, Sieghardt Rupp, Anton Diffring, Stéphane Audran, Alexander D'Arcy, Anthony Chinn. Cinematography Jerzy Lipman Film Editor Liesgret Schmitt-Klink Original Music The Can German dialogue by Manfred R. Köhler Produced by Joachim von Mengershausen Written and Directed by Samuel Fuller

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Not that it helped Sam Fuller's career much,
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Don’T Bother To Knock (1952)

The icon-establishing performances Marilyn Monroe gave in Howard HawksGentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) and in Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Hot (1959) are ones for the ages, touchstone works that endure because of the undeniable comic energy and desperation that sparked them from within even as the ravenous public became ever more enraptured by the surface of Monroe’s seductive image of beauty and glamour. Several generations now probably know her only from these films, or perhaps 1955’s The Seven-Year Itch, a more famous probably for the skirt-swirling pose it generated than anything in the movie itself, one of director Wilder’s sourest pictures, or her final completed film, The Misfits (1961), directed by John Huston, written by Arthur Miller and costarring Clark Gable and Montgomery Clift.

But in Don’t Bother to Knock (1952) she delivers a powerful dramatic performance as Nell, a psychologically devastated, delusional, perhaps psychotic young woman apparently on
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Blu-ray Review – Fixed Bayonets! (1951)

Fixed Bayonets!, 1951.

Directed by Samuel Fuller.

Starring Richard Basehart, Gene Evans, Michael O’Shea, Richard Hylton, Skip Homeier and James Dean.


The story of a platoon during the Korean War. One by one Corporal Denno’s superiors are killed until it comes to the point where he must try to take command responsibility.

Here’s a tightly wound ball of suspense with the duality of fatalisms and heroism at the heart. It’s the Korean War and there’s snow up to the knees, and for an hour and half Samuel Fuller puts us amongst the American platoon who have the unenviable task of acting as the rear guard, and fooling the enemy into thinking they are in fact the whole damn regiment; with a little subterfuge, planning, and a whole lot of courage these brave few show us it can be done. Heroes will be made and heroes will be lost.
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Scott Reviews Jules Dassin’s Thieves’ Highway [Arrow Films Blu-ray Review]

Jules Dassin didn’t do much in the way of subversion. At least not cinematically. He didn’t have many overarching themes to his work, he didn’t twist his genre films into something they weren’t. What he did was utilize every one of the handful of tools he was given, and pushed his films to their absolute breaking point. His subversion was a sort of perversion, an excess of imagination and a willingness to show the world as he saw it. If that meant creating a filmography that looked suspicious to the House Committee of Un-American Activities, well, that was just the natural result of having an eye and an ear for how the common man lived.

It can’t have helped that his last film before the blacklist order came down was Thieves’ Highway, an all-out indictment of capitalism cloaked in the noir-drenched mode of a typical Fox gritty,
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Broken Lance

Edward Dmytryk's big-scale cattle empire saga sees paterfamilias Spencer Tracy drive away his sons and bull his way into a modern civil dispute that can't be resolved with force. Robert Wagner is the loyal son and Richard Widmark the resentful son impatient for Dad to cash in his chips. Fox's early CinemaScope and stereophonic sound western is a transposition of a film noir mystery thriller. Broken Lance Blu-ray Twilight Time Limited Edition 1954 / Color / 2:55 widescreen / 96 min. / Ship Date November 10, 2015 / available through Twilight Time Movies / 29.95 Starring Spencer Tracy, Robert Wagner, Jean Peters, Richard Widmark, Katy Jurado, Hugh O'Brian, Eduard Franz, Earl Holliman, E.G. Marshall, Carl Benton Reid, Philip Ober. Cinematography Joseph MacDonald Film Editor Dorothy Spencer Original Music Leigh Harline Written by Richard Murphy, Philip Yordan Produced by Sol C. Siegel Directed by Edward Dmytryk Reviewed by Glenn EricksonSome of the early 'big' westerns that aspire to epic status are
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The Death of Marilyn Monroe, The Birth of James Bond

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published November 1, 2012.

Fifty years ago this month, Marilyn Monroe passed away from a suspected accidental drug overdose (although conspiracy geeks love to contemplate more nefarious scenarios). The commemoratives are already showing up on magazine and newspaper entertainment pages, cable channels have announced their Marilyn film fests and documentary tributes. There’s little of worth I can add either in academic consideration or aesthetic appreciation to all the testimonials as well as the previous fifty years of ruminating in print and on film re: the lasting appeal of La Monroe. I can only wonder, with a sort of melancholy amazement, over the fact we’re still talking about her all these years later.

That persistent hold she has on popular culture is a fascinating study in itself. Her career had already been faltering when she died, she’s been gone a half-century, yet there
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Scott Reviews Samuel Fuller’s Pickup on South Street [Masters of Cinema Blu-ray Review]

In so many of the discussions (recorded and written) that accompany Masters of Cinema’s new Blu-ray edition of Pickup on South Street, the critic finds some way to make apologies for the fact that not all of the film was shot on the streets. In fact, very little was. Then as now, New York is an unpredictable animal, difficult to harness in a medium that so predicated on reliability that the entire industry surrounding it moved across the country just to ensure the sun would always be out. But studio-set production is not antithetical to Samuel Fuller’s “whole thing.” He’s not the gritty realist perhaps even he’d like to be, even viewing his films in the context of the times. Fuller is more like a political cartoonist without a punchline. He has cleverness to spare, but no jokes. More importantly, his style of expression is dependent
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House of Bamboo | Blu-ray Review

Twilight Time brings Sam Fuller’s exotic 1955 color noir House of Bamboo to Blu-ray, a resplendently colorful film and the first major Us production to film in post-war Japan. While Fuller re-tooled Harry Kleiner’s script for the 1948 film The Street with No Name to meet his own offbeat needs, the film experienced a rather cool reception, garnering praise for Joseph MacDonald’s cinematography (and has since been hailed by sources as some of the best uses of widescreen photography in the history of cinema) but little else. Following on the heels of successful black and white titles like Hell and High Water (1954) and the acclaimed film noir Pickup on South Street (1953), it’s a harder title to classify, featuring Fuller’s usual signature of off-balance touches in a production that now seems ahead of its time (especially compared to something like 1964’s black and white provocation The Naked Kiss
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Off The Shelf – Episode 61 – New DVD & Blu-ray Releases For Tuesday, August 25th 2015

This week on Off The Shelf, Ryan is joined by Brian Saur to take a look at the new DVD and Blu-ray releases for the week of August 25th, 2015, and chat about some follow-up and home video news.

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Episode Links & Notes Follow-up Honeymoon Killers Don Hertzfeldt’s Kickstarter News Arrow’s Us announcements for November French Battlestar Galactica Blu-ray release Spartacus Restoration Screenshots City of Lost Children 20th Anniversary Blu-ray KLStudio Classics – I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, Delirious, Up The Creek Vincent Price Oop Moc Announcements: Shane, Robinson Crusoe On Mars, The Quiet Man New Releases

August 18th

Batman Unlimited: Monster Mayhem Burn, Witch, Burn The Couch Trip Cruel Story Of Youth (Masters Of Cinema) Day for Night (Criterion) Diggstown Dressed to Kill Elena Face to Face aka Faccia A Faccia Hackers The Hunger La Sapienza La Grande Bouffe My Darling Clementine Navajo Joe
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Pickup on South Street review – a masterly film noir

(Samuel Fuller, 1953; Eureka!, PG, DVD/Blu-ray)

A hard-nosed tabloid newsman in New York before scripting B-movies in Hollywood in the 1930s, Samuel Fuller served as a much decorated infantry sergeant in North Africa and Europe during the second world war. He returned to the cinema after the war, becoming a writer-director-producer, starting with I Shot Jesse James, a low-budget western questioning the nature of courage and hero worship. War movies, noir thrillers and westerns were his forte, action films of visual power that combined nuanced social commentary with brutal directness. They confused middle-class critics the world over into thinking Fuller was a rightwing thug rather than a sensitive artist who sympathised with outsiders, losers and men in the street.

Pickup on South Street was made at 20th Century Fox under the sympathetic eye of producer Darryl F Zanuck during Fuller’s only time as a well-paid contract director. It’s a masterly film noir,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Daily | Goings On | Andersson, Fuller, Hou

With a retrospective opening at the Museum of Arts and Design and A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence screening at Film Forum, Nicolas Rapold talks with Roy Andersson for the New York Times. More goings on: Martin Scorsese's poster collection at MoMA, Barbara Hammer’s portrait of the poet Elizabeth Bishop, a revival of Samuel Fuller's Pickup on South Street, a Rainer Werner Fassbinder mini-retrospective in Los Angeles, Frederick Wiseman in Chicago, Don Hertzfeldt in Vienna, Alejandro Jodorowsky in Bordeaux and more. » - David Hudson
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Relish the City Closing In with the Noir Pickup on South Street

Relish the City Closing In with the Noir Pickup on South Street
Pickup on South Street is the most claustrophobic American film before Psycho. Hitchcock's lament for the aridity of the modern age focused on "private traps." Sam Fuller's 1953 noir, the finest distillation of his tabloid sensibility, is about public traps: the confinement of rigid political identity, the division of society into citizens and criminals, the solely economic line that separates pauperhood from respectability. The macguffin here is a piece of microfilm that, in the opening scene, is being ferried to communist agents by the unwitting courier Candy (Jean Peters) but gets stolen en route by the pickpocket Skip McCoy (Richard Widmark). The picture is a race to convince Skip to turn over the film and forgo the big score he expects from selling it.

See full article at Village Voice »

87th Academy Award Winners: Birdman Tops Boyhood

Oscar 2015 winners (photo: Chris Pratt during Oscar 2015 rehearsals) The complete list of Oscar 2015 winners and nominees can be found below. See also: Oscar 2015 presenters and performers. Now, a little Oscar 2015 trivia. If you know a bit about the history of the Academy Awards, you'll have noticed several little curiosities about this year's nominations. For instance, there are quite a few first-time nominees in the acting and directing categories. In fact, nine of the nominated actors and three of the nominated directors are Oscar newcomers. Here's the list in the acting categories: Eddie Redmayne. Michael Keaton. Steve Carell. Benedict Cumberbatch. Felicity Jones. Rosamund Pike. J.K. Simmons. Emma Stone. Patricia Arquette. The three directors are: Morten Tyldum. Richard Linklater. Wes Anderson. Oscar 2015 comebacks Oscar 2015 also marks the Academy Awards' "comeback" of several performers and directors last nominated years ago. Marion Cotillard and Reese Witherspoon won Best Actress Oscars for, respectively, Olivier Dahan
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‘Night and the City’ sees a pre-Rififi Jules Dassin already at the top of his game

Night and the City

Written by Joe Eisinger

Directed by Jules Dassin

United Kingdom, 1950

In the heart of the London night Harry Fabian (Richard Widmark) runs wild in the streets and alleyways of this most famous of English cities. Harry, a con artist, owes someone a hefty sum and his only recourse is to plead his lover Mary Bristol (Gene Tierney) to lend him some pounds to call off the hounds. Such is the life the protagonist has led for some years now, much to Mary’s consternation and chagrin. What once was a happy companionship has turned more more strenuous. A get rich scheme here, another there but always the same result: Harry gets nowhere fast. His latest attempt to make it big arrives in form of an aging wrestler, Gregorius the Great (Stanislaus Zbyszko) whom he encounters by happenstance at a wrestling event a few nights later. The
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